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If you've been online in the past few days, you've probably seen a headline about a new "sex trend" — "stealthing."

“Stealthing” is a nonconsensual and frankly disturbing sex act which refers to when a man secretly removes his condom in the middle of sexual intercourse. So, yeah, this isn't a "new sex trend." This is sexual assault.

A report by the Columbia Journal of Gender and Law led by Alexandra Brodsky features interviews with victims and a look into online communities that encourage "stealthing." Brodsky discovered that the communities of men online encourage one another to “stealth,” and in some instances describe it as a right to “spread one’s seed” (regardless of their partner's consent, of course).

cry baby eye roll

In an interview with the Huffington Post, Brodsky said that victims of "stealthing" said they felt violated, but “didn’t have the vocabulary” to process it. One of Brodsky's interviewees, a victim of "stealthing" herself, works at a rape crisis hotline and said she received many calls about "stealthing." She said, “Their stories often start the same way. I’m not sure if this is rape, but...’” Another interviewee called it "rape-adjacent." Brodsky writes, “Survivors [of stealthing] describe non-consensual condom removal as a threat to their bodily agency and as a dignitary harm. ‘You have no right to make your own sexual decisions,’ they are told. ‘You are not worthy of my consideration.’”

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In the study, Brodsky writes, “Survivors [of stealthing] describe nonconsensual condom removal as a threat to their bodily agency and as a dignitary harm. ‘You have no right to make your own sexual decisions,’ they are told. ‘You are not worthy of my consideration.’" She explores ways that victims might pursue justice and argues for a new statue against stealthing.

“The law isn’t the answer for everyone, and it can’t fix every problem every time,” Brodsky told the Huffington Post. “One of my goals with the article, and in proposing a new statute, is to provide a vocabulary and create ways for people to talk about what is a really common experience that just is too often dismissed as just ‘bad sex’ instead of ‘violence.’”

The statue does have precedent, though not in the US. Earlier this year, a man in Switzerland was convicted of rape after removing a condom without his partner's consent. He was sentenced to prison for a year.

Top photo: Pixabay

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